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Ottawa and Charlottetown reach agreement to fast-track 100 new homes a year

As part of the agreement, Charlottetown will allow taller apartment buildings. (CBC - image credit)
As part of the agreement, Charlottetown will allow taller apartment buildings. (CBC - image credit)

The federal government will provide Charlottetown with $10 million through the Housing Accelerator Fund as part of an agreement they say will help spur the construction of more than 1,000 homes over the next decade.

Charlottetown has agreed to make changes to its building permits and zoning as part of the agreement. Those changes include:

  • A new official plan that will enable more medium-density housing.

  • Allowing up to four units on existing residential lots.

  • Building heights will be increased from six to eight storeys near post-secondary institutions and in high-growth areas.

  • Expediting the permitting of accessory dwelling units.

  • Reducing parking requirements.

  • Improved building permit processes, including e-permitting.

P.E.I.'s housing situation has been described as a crisis since 2018, when the apartment vacancy rate fell to 0.3 per cent.

The crisis has been driven by unprecedented population growth, which has been running between three and four per cent a year.

The most recent population numbers, measuring growth from Oct. 31, 2022 to Oct. 31, 2023, show Prince Edward Island added about 6,700 residents.

With an average of 2.3 people per household on the Island, that puts the requirement for homes for those new residents at 2,900.

But according to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, the province managed only 1,139 housing starts in 2023.